Democratic US Senate primary race tightens in quest to take on Ron Johnson, Marquette poll finds

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes still leads Bucks exec Alex Lasry, according to survey
Profile picture of US Republican Senator Ron Johnson with two American flags in the background
Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson. (AP photo)

MILWAUKEE (WKBT) — The Democratic U.S. Senate primary to pick a challenger to Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson has tightened since February, according to a new Marquette Law School Poll.

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes has the support of 19% of Wisconsin Democrats, including independents who lean Democratic, and independents who say they will vote in the Democratic primary, according to the poll. Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry has the backing of 16%, while state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski is the choice of 7% and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson stands at 5%.

The other seven candidates vying to unseat Johnson in the fall received 1% or less support.

Many voters remain undecided, with 48% saying they don’t know how they will vote in the Aug. 9 primary, the same as in the February Marquette Poll.

In the February poll, Barnes snagged 23% of those surveyed, while Lasry had 13%, Nelson got 5% and Godlewski, 3%, with others received 2% or less.

In the Republican primary to take on Gov. Tony Evers, Rebecca Kleefisch had the support of 32%, Kevin Nicholson, 10%, and Tim Ramthun, 4%. Nearly 50 percent said they had not picked a favorite. The poll was begun before Tim Michels announced his entry into the Republican gubernatorial primary.

Doubt about the 2020 election results has been a major issue for Republicans since former President Donald Trump questioned the outcome. In Wisconsin, about two-thirds of Republicans have expressed little or no confidence in the results electing President Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, 13% of Wisconsin voters approve of how former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman has handled a review of the 2020 election, while 27% disapprove. Almost 60% say they haven’t heard enough about the review to have an opinion, and 2% say they don’t know.

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